• A winning streak, a sore thumb and a big southpaw

    Chieng-Ming Wang gutted it out for six innings. The Yankee bats smashed three home runs — all by lefties. And the bullpen pieced together three decent innings as the Yanks downed Jose Contreras and the White Sox 9-5 last night. With Mike Mussina starting tonight against our old friend Javier Vazquez, Wang’s fourth victory of the season — which keeps him on pace for 25 wins — was a big one. The five strike outs in 6 innings was a good sign too.

    On the injury front, Jason Giambi left the game tonight not because his defense is laughably bad but because his thumb is swollen. He hurt his thumb by taken a grounder off of it in the 7th. So actually, his defense did force him out of the game but in a more Pavano-ian sort of way.

    Meanwhile, in Kansas City, C.C. Sabathia went six strong, allowing four hits and striking out 11. Reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated, and the Yanks will be seeing him first-hand this weekend. And that’s all I’m saying there.
    · (47) ·


Tabata demoted*

By in Down on the Farm. · Comments (27) ·

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 loss to Buffalo)
Brett Gardner, Shelley Duncan & Cody Ransom: all 0 for 4 – Gardner walked & scored a run … Shelley drove in a run & K’ed three times … Ransom K’ed once
Nick Green: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Juan Miranda: 2 for 3, 2 BB – hitting streak up to 8 games … 7-14 K/BB ratio on the year
Eric Duncan: 2 for 2, 2 BB, 1 SB
Jeff Marquez: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 7-5 GB/FB – best start of the year
Jon Albaladejo: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K – only 18 of 40 pitches were strikes (45%)
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – 11 of 13 pitches were strikes (84.6%)
Edwar: 1 IP, zeroes, 0-3 GB/FB

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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For baseball fans in Chicago, today is one of those rare days with the chance to grab a fantastic double-header. The Cubs are currently wrapping up a North Side win over the Mets, and at 7:11 p.m. Central time — yes, that’s intentional — the Yankees and the White Sox will square off on the Chicago’s South Side.

The Yankees today are without their All Star third baseman. The reigning MVP would have missed the game with a slightly strained quad, but he’s not with the team because his wife Cynthia gave birth to the couple’s second child. Anyone believing in conspiracy theories would posit that C-Rod’s labor was induced to conveniently keep A-Rod away from the stadium while his strained muscle heals.

On the field, Jorge Posada makes his triumphant return behind the dish. Posada hasn’t been the starting catcher since April 8, and he’s caught just 33 innings this season. The Yanks couldn’t have picked a better team against which to test Posada’s shoulder. The White Sox have attempted just five stolen bases this year and were successful three times. I think the Sox may test Posada’s arm, but the team just doesn’t run that much anyway.

Chien-Ming Wang, 3-0 with a 3.81, takes the mound today. He’ll look to avenge himself after failing to make it out of the fifth against the Red Sox last week. It’s been a long week for the Yankee bullpen, eh?

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Giambi 1B
Ensberg 3B
Cabrera CF

Wang P

Notes: Joe will be accepting submissions for guest column consideration until tomorrow morning. Details are in the linked post.

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (301)
  • Things just ain’t that bad

    While sports talk radio and a lot of Yankee fans have panicked over the start of the season, David Pinto reminds us that things could be worse. Last year, at this point, the Yanks were 8-12, and they had used nine different starters including Carl Pavano, Kei Igawa and Chase Wright. This year, the five starters have thrown in turn each time around the rotation; Kennedy threw but did not start in KC. Says Pinto, “It’s a stable rotation. I don’t think anyone should be panicking yet.” · (27) ·

That sure is a long line of retired numbers. (Photo by flickr user aeonix01)

The Yankee fan masses have spoken. After three days of voting, 79 percent of you feel that Paul O’Neill’s number should not be retired while 21 percent of you would like to see 21 added to the growing list of Yankee retired numbers.

Despite these overwhelmingly one-sided results, the debate has generated a lot of conversation about the nature of retired numbers and the way the Yanks go about retiring the numbers. Some fans seem to feel that the Yanks retire way too much numbers; others feel that the honors are warranted. And no one can agree on exactly what standards are applied to a player to determine if a number is retired.

Take Phil Rizzuto’s number 10. Rizzuto is, famously, in the Hall of Fame after many passionate fans waged a rather rabid campaign to get him inducted, and one could say that he’s in the Hall as much for his decades-long career behind the microphone as he is for his play on the field. In fact, his play on the field, while great at its peak, wasn’t that spectacular overall. He played 13 years for the Yanks and hit .273/.351/.355.

In 1985, the Yanks decided to hang up Rizzuto’s 10. At that point, he had been retired for 31 years, and seven other players — including Chris Chambliss, Tony Kubek and Rick Cerone — had worn 10. Why the Yankees opted then to retire Rizzuto’s number is anyone’s guess. In fact, as an August 18, 1985 letter to The Times shows, Yankee fans 23 years ago were not of the mind that Rizzuto was deserving of a spot alongside the Yankee greats.

Ron Guidry’s 49 and Reggie Jackson’s 44 are also big question marks. Guidry was great for a long stretch but not a baseball immortal. Reggie had a few iconic games in the post-season for a team that played during an era when George Steinbrenner was hell-bent on winning the World Series. He ended up spending just five of his 21 seasons in the Bronx.

Interestingly, the timing of these two retirement ceremonies raises an eyebrow or two as well. Reggie’s number was retired in 1993 when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame. At the time, the Yanks were mired in their worst World Series drought since the early years of the Twentieth Century, and perhaps, George was looking to recapture some of the aura of his glory years of the 1970s. Guidry’s number was retired in 2003 right when he was returning to the Bronx fold. The Times speculated that perhaps it was some sort of gesture of appreciation designed to draw Guidry into a soon-to-be vacant coaching job.

Whatever the case, retired numbers are a prickly issue in Yankee-land. Fans of players from recent teams grow vehement in their arguments for or against enshrinement in the outfield. Take the 1990s teams. Off the top of my head, I would guess that Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Joe Torre and Bernie Williams will see their numbers retired. Paul O’Neill supporters will feel slighted, and Jorge Posada fans will wonder why their catcher doesn’t get the same respect. Andy Pettitte‘s 46 never comes up and was in fact given out to five players during’s Pettitte’s three years in Houston. And the A-Rod debate will rage forever until or unless the Yanks win a few rings while he’s in town.

Meanwhile, as the Yanks slowly run out of respectable numbers, a few fans have floated the idea of un-retiring certain numbers while keeping the number circles up as monuments in Monument Park. While I like the idea in principle, how that would work is again anyone’s guess.

The Yankees have a tricky balancing act to perform. They have a vast history that they want to enshrine and recall. They have legends of the game and legends of the Bronx and just plain old fan favorites. As the available numbers decrease and more plaques find their way to the left field park, these debates will only grow more boisterous. Who needs single-digit numbers anyway?

Categories : Days of Yore
Comments (39)

Triple-A Scranton (3-0 win over Rochester)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 1, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 CS – picked off first
Juan Miranda, Jason Lane & Cody Ransom: all 1 for 4 – Miranda K’ed & extended his hitting streak to 7 games … Lane hit a solo jack & K’ed
Shelley: 0 for 4 – 2 for his last 22
Nick Green: 2 for 4, 2 K
Bernie Castro: 1 for 2, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 CS
Darrell Rasner: 8 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 10-9 GB/FB – 63 of 90 pitches were strikes (70%) for the man with a 0.72 ERA … I’ve been telling you since he was claimed off waivers, don’t sleep on D-Ras, he’s better than he gets credit for
Jose Veras: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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  • Hank, Cashman clear the Joba-filled air

    According to PeteAbe, the whole much ado about Joba has been resolved, and Hank and Cashman are on the same page. Cashman explained that Joba’s move to the pen was spurred on last year by the youngster’s innings cap, and he reiterated the plan to move Joba into the rotation later this season. While this whole kiss-and-make-up thing is nice, I’m glad this drama played itself out today. What else would we have done with this off-day? · (2) ·

  • Leagues, teams feeling the blogging tension

    Tim Arango, a Times business reporter, chimed in today with a feature on the tensions between bloggers and the teams and leagues they cover. The piece looks at all facets of the issue — from the credentialed (PeteAbe) bloggers to the non-credentialed bloggers (us) and the various relationships with their subjects. Journalists are growing wary of sports leagues asserting control, and the sports leagues are asserting their rights as private businesses. The article doesn’t even get into the heart of the dispute between old-school media traditionalists and bloggers. How all of these tensions will one day be resolved is anyone’s guess. · (4) ·

As we can see in the previous thread, not every Yankees fan is in agreement on every issue. And nor should we be. Baseball is a complex game, from the field to the front office. And so we debate over the issues.

While it seems most of us enjoy the current format of the site, we’re thinking about adding something that will expand upon our comments sections. Instead of writing a diatribe in response to someone else — and not knowing if 5 or 5,000 people will read it — wouldn’t you rather get your two cents in on the main page?

Yes, we’re thinking about opening up a guest column series. However, I want to do a preliminary check to see if there’s enough interest in it. After all, a guest column series wouldn’t be all that fun if we had the same three people submitting stuff every week. So here’s what I want to do.

If you’re interested in doing a guest spot on RAB, email me (it’s in the masthead on the left) and let me know. Pitch an idea or two if you want, too. The hope is to get an idea of how many people are interested by mid-week, and then get the contest up and running sometime next week.

Oh yeah: There’s a chance that the spam filter on my email might block out some of your emails. If you don’t hear back from me within a day or so, feel free to hit me with another one.

Comments (30)